McFadden Scores the Perfect Night in Eureka Series at Avalon
By Ian Vale
He came, he saw and he conquered, James McFadden had the perfect night at Avalon Raceway with the fastest overall Time Trial time, wins in both his heats to give him pole position in the main event to be followed by taking out the Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series round six A Main event with faultless driving all night long, home in second place was Steven Lines and third place went to Corey McCullagh.
In a night that had plenty of action on a race track that was used from top to bottom all night long there was plenty of close hard racing along with a few disappointments for some drivers that were in attendance in the class field of forty eight entries.
Time Trials opened the nights proceedings that saw James McFadden set fast time in the first time trial group, Peter Doukas topped the times in group two, Glen Sutherland continued his new found form in time trial to set fast time in group three while in the final group Corey McCullagh did the job.
Six different drivers took the eight heat race wins, with the most spectacular heat win going to new season driver Terry Rankin who hit the wall and rolled his car as he crossed the finish line to take his first heat win in sprintcar competition. Other heat winners were James McFadden and Rusty Hickman who took two wins each while Peter Doukas, Steven Lines and Scott Reilly won one heat each.
The C Main event was declared after nine laps due to an incident between Brayden Parr and Andrew Hughes while they were running in third and fourth places respectively. Mike Van Bremen won the event ahead of Stephen Spark, Jordyn Charge and Eddie Lumbar who would transfer to the B main.
The B Main was a no stop flag to flag affair with Tim Hutchins taking the win to transfer to the Eureka Garages & Sheds A Main event. Joining Tim would be current Eureka Series Champion Brett Milburn, Scott Reilly, Lachlan McHugh, Luke Walker and Terry Rankin who did an amazing job to get his sprintcar repaired in time to start in the B main.
But all the attention was now on the Eureka Garages & Sheds Series A Main event that was also doubling as the Fireball Derby and the question was could James McFadden take the win to score the perfect night.
Seventeen other drivers lined up to try and deny McFadden from taking the win, the order for the main event was set and on the front row with James McFadden was Peter Doukas, row two was taken by Corey McCullagh and Glen Sutherland to be followed by Steven Lines, Rusty Hickman,, Jye Okeeffe, David Murcott, Grant Anderson, Charles Hunter, Jacob Smith, Lisa Walker and the B Main transferring drivers.
Under way for the main event and McFadden went straight into the lead ahead of Doukas by just over three quarters of a second at the end of lap one. A few moves were on straight away with McCullagh taking second place from Doukas on lap two and Lines moved into fourth place ahead of Sutherland. A littler further down the field Milburn moved ahead of Smith and McHugh passed Rankin.
As the race settled down the drivers were using all the track looking for the best drive, Sutherland dropped back a few spots allowing Hickman and Murcott to take up positions five and six just behind Lines, McFadden was now headed into lapped traffic.
McFadden was in top form passing lapped traffic to have four lapped cars between himself and McCullagh at one third distance. The order heading into two thirds race distance was McFadden, McCullagh, Lines, Hickman, Murcott, Doukas who had lost a few positions, Anderson was next from Milburn, Okeeffe and McHugh who rounded out the top ten when the caution lights came on for Murcott who has stopped on the track.
With Murcott out and sitting on the infield the race was back under way for another two laps when Hickman made contact with the turn four wall and rolled the V40 sprintcar that would finish his night, Glen Sutherland was also eliminated in the incident when he was left with nowhere to go as Hickman rolled.
So it was now a race to the flag and to see if Lines who made a pass on McCullagh prior to the red light had any tricks up his sleeve to take the lead from McFadden.
The answer was no McFadden was in his own league on the night and was back into lapping traffic once again within four laps of the restart to go and take the Eureka Garages & Sheds A Main feature race win as the red lights came on when Rankin rolled for the second time of the night in turn four but not before McFadden had received the chequered flag to end the event.
Just to cap of the perfect night for McFadden he also lead every lap of the race to beat home second place man Steven Lines, Corey McCullagh took third place ahead of Peter Doukas, rounding out the finishers in order were Grant Anderson, Lachlan McHugh, Scott Reilly, Brett Milburn, Tim Hutchins and Jye Okeeffe who finished in tenth place. Jacob Smith was home in eleven place while Lisa Walker finished twelfth ahead of Luke Walker and Terry Rankin.
While Rusty Hickman was disappointed to not finish the Eureka A Main event he scored enough points to retake the lead in the Eureka Garages & Sheds Series points standing from Tim Hutchins and Brett Milburn who also moved up the points table on the night.
Eureka Garages and Sheds Series – KTM Top 10:
1st – Rusty Hickman – 1724
2nd – Tim Hutchins – 1574
3rd – Brett Milburn – 1573
4th – Glen Sutherland – 1537
5th – Jamie Veal – 1450
6th – Jacob Smith – 1449
7th – Jye Okeeffe – 1399
8th – Peter Doukas – 1214
9th – James McFadden – 1178
10th – Scott Reilly – 1150